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About johnlevon

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    Lightly Roasted
  1. I'm not sure what you mean by "line of bollocks". The boiler was definitely over-full, I could see it? But thanks for the commentry on the Piccino, that's useful.
  2. Mignon Mk 2. The hopper's difficult to clean without removing the black plastic cap above the hopper chute. Is it removable? If so how? Don't want to just try and pull it if it's glued on...
  3. Turned out to be a different reason - apparently the last person to service it did something wrong? such that the boiler was over-filled. I'm in a soft-ish water area. The serviceman did mention the gauge was likely a little clogged. Maybe next time I will get them to run it through to clean up. Of course, not heard a peep from Fracino still.
  4. They've not even bothered to reply this time...
  5. If by "tank" you're really referring to the plastic tank on the left of the machine with the water filter inside, it does pull straight out. Just hold on to the edge of the plastic and lift it straight up. There's no wires connecting it? When I had the beeping issue, I just need to clean the contacts where the bottom of the tank rests...
  6. So, yet again, my Piccino steam boiler has broken. This is now the 3rd time in as many years. Fracino don't really seem interested - just hand me off to a local repair guy. So, seems like it's time to give up on them. Any former Piccino owners recommend something else? I make maybe 2 cups of coffee a day on it. cheers, john
  7. I maintain the machine as much as I reasonably can, but dismantling a boiler is a bit much for me! I only use the wand to steam milk, less than 3 times a day on average. The service guy said the filter made no difference anyway, as I mentioned. Maybe it is the switch as Norvin suggested, I hope so. cheers john
  8. So, less than a year since it last broke and I had to have somebody out to fix it (as I have no idea how to do so myself ),my steam boiler is broken again. Regularly jumps up to >1.5bar then down to zero, but on releasing it's clearly not even steam. The guy who came out said something about the temperature sensor getting scaled over. I'm in a soft water area - Manchester, and besides, if this is going to be a yearly problem it seems crazy I have to take t he machine apart to fix it? He implied that the filter in the water tank itself made no difference (I've never replaced it). It's out of warranty but I wouldn't expect it to break like this. Any suggestions? Think about a new - non-Fracino - machine? cheers john
  9. Found a small flathead screwdriver that could unscrew the Torx (sigh), and that was it indeed, boiler is back now, cheers! Now if only I could solve my channelling problems... cheers john
  10. My Fracino Piccino isn't heating up the water any more. Boiler definitely dead? Does it have to go back for repair The steam boiler seems fine still cheers john
  11. Thanks everyone, this helps. I should stick to weighing (I do have 0.1g scales I use), ignore any volume stuff. I know the numbers are just a guide but it's still useful to know typical values as there's so many variables. Confused by the "stick to a ratio" thing. Won't the grind directly change that ratio? I.e. if I go looser, then I'll get more liquid out of the same ground coffee. So how could I keep the ratio the same while modifying the grind? Finally, I rarely seem to get much crema. Is this just a matter of the beans? They're not old but not fresh fresh either (roasted last month I believe). What controls that?
  12. I'm rather confused about units mentioned as ideal shot times. For example, here: http://www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide-good-extractions.html says "looking for a two ounce double espresso in 27 seconds" whereas here says: http://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?22879-Beginners-Reading-Weighing-Espresso-Brew-Ratios "I dosed 18g of coffee and made 36g of espresso in 27 seconds" But 2 oz is 56g. 2 fluid oz is 56ml, and surely espresso is mostly water, so that's near 56g too. So do I want ~30g or ~60g in my final coffee? Which of these is actually a double espresso? My last shot was 17g dose, 35g coffee in 20 seconds. I think I want slightly bigger dose, or a slightly tighter grind?
  13. Do you mean for beans or to buy made coffees? Although it's the same answer for both really... Takk, North Tea Power, Caffeine & Co. Popped in the new Idle Hands by the station the other day, very good, but took nearly 15 minutes to make my coffee!
  14. Since I would have sorely liked this myself whilst struggling yesterday, here's how to replace the seal on a Fracino Piccino (with help from you lot, thanks!) 1. Turn the machine upside down and unscrew the big screw in the middle, and remove the shower screen. This will leave the brass locking plate and the seal around the outside. Note in this picture I've already removed the seal because I did things the hard way: 2. Remove the locking plate. It isn't at all obvious but it just comes off - yours might be a little stuck like mine was. I levered it off by putting a large allen key down the centre hole and levering, and it just popped off. You'll probably find a load of gunk underneath. 3. Remove the seal. I did this destructively by screwing a little screw into the seal and pliering the hole thing out. A pain even with a fairly new seal but just a matter of persistence. Everything out: 4. put the new seal in - it should now slide in with nearly no effort. 5. place the plate back on, screw on the screen, and tighten. 6. This should give you a good seal (feels tight at the 6 o clock mark when the portafilter+basket are in place), and you should be able to run with the blind portafilter for a while without any leaks. Hope this helps some other poor soul....
  15. Thanks, but I don't think it's that - I had already removed the screw and the screen as part of removing the seal, but the brass part (the locking plate as the parts manual calls it) is still solid. You can see it here: it forms a lip over the well where the seal fits back in and that seems like part of the problem...
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